Copper dithiocarbamate complexes and copper sulfide nanoparticles : synthesis, characterization and antifungal studies

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University of Fort Hare


Six dithiocarbamate ligands were synthesized from anisidine, aniline, ethyl aniline, butyl amine, morpholine and piperidine and used to synthesize homoleptic copper(II) dithiocarbamate complexes. The ligands and their corresponding complexes were characterized by conductivity measurement, FTIR and UV-Vis spectroscopy. The ligands were further characterized using NMR spectroscopy. The electronic spectra of the complexes showed that the coordination geometries around the Cu2+ ion is four coordinate square planar. FTIR spectroscopic studies indicated that the dithiocarbamate ligands are bidentately coordinated to the copper ion through the sulfur atoms with the C-S stretching frequencies changing from two peaks in the ligands to single sharp peaks in the corresponding metal complexes. The complexes were used as single source precursors to synthesize copper sulfide nanoparticles. All the six complexes were thermolysed at 180 oC to prepare copper sulfide nanoparticles and three of them were further thermolysed at 120 oC to study the effects of temperature on size and shape of the nanoparticles. All the nanoparticles were characterized with UV-Vis, PL, XRD, TEM, SEM and EDX. The optical properties of the as-prepared CuS nanoparticles showed that they are quantum confined with absorption band edges that are blue shifted compared to bulk CuS and all the as-prepared CuS nanoparticles showed narrow emission curves. The XRD diffraction patterns were indexed to the hexagonal covellite CuS crystalline phase with estimated particle sizes of 15.8-23.24 nm. These sizes are significantly different from the values, 3.02-98.94 nm obtained from TEM studies. The TEM images also showed nanoparticles with varied shapes with some agglomerations. SEM micrographs showed that the morphologies of the nanoparticles are mostly smooth surfaces and EDX spectra analyses confirmed the formation of the nanoparticles. Thermolysis of three of the complexes at 120 oC confirmed that temperature do affect the optical and structural properties of the CuS nanoparticles. Only three complexes soluble in DMSO were screened for their antimicrobial activity. Three complexes C1, C4 and C5 were screened against four fungi organisms, namely: Candida rugosa, Candida neoformans, Candida albicans and Trychophyton mucoides. All the compounds were promising as shown by the minimum inhibitory concentrations determined. C5 was the most active compound against all the organisms. They were also screened against four bacteria organisms and they were all active but not as they were against fungi organisms.